Heart ultrasounds available in Nelson again

Interior Health says heart ultrasounds will be available monthly at Kootenay Lake Hospital through September.

Interior Health says heart ultrasounds will be available monthly at Kootenay Lake Hospital through September.

Since January, Nelson and area patients have had to go to Trail for the procedure, after the technologist who did them here went on leave.

“Starting a couple of weekends back, we arranged for contract services for someone to come in monthly to do heart ultrasounds in Nelson so patients don’t have to travel,” says Thalia Vesterback, director of diagnostic imaging.

She says the procedures will be available four or five days a month.

Monthly service will be increased in Trail as well, where there is also a shortage of techs. Vesterback says the arrangement will continue through September, when they anticipate further staffing changes.

“We’re only providing temporary contracts up to September,” she says. “We’re not sure what it will look like after September, but we will be providing some level of service.”

A new full-time technologist starts in July. Ultrasound services have also resumed in Castlegar one to three days per week.